on 23 July 2012
This is the story of a young woman looking for a place to feel settled in Paris, London and then Bombay. Joseph is extremely funny and sharp-eyed, and searingly truthful. Proper writing, of the kind that gets overlooked for not banging a drum. Loved it.
This is the story of a young woman called Leela who has finished uni and is embarking on the big wide world of work, men and relationships.
The book starts with Leela going to Paris where nothing very much happens for 74 pages. Drinks come and go, meals come and go, men come and go. *yawns*
Leela then returns to London where nothing very much happens for 75 pages. Drinks come and go, meals come and go, men come and go. *yawns again*
Leela then goes to Bombay where not very much happens for the remaining 108 pages. She sees her family for a paragraph or two. She works. She travels. It is possible that she falls in love but Leela is such a blur, we can't really be sure. *politely puts hand over mouth to hide jaw-cracking yawn*
And then Leela goes to... Am so sorry, don't know what's wrong with me, just can't keep my eyes open a moment longer. *nods off*
on 27 December 2013
I strongly recommend Anjali Joseph's first novel, Saraswati Park. This one is disappointing. In retrospect, reading it was a waste of time. Yes, she writes nicely. But as far as this novel goes, that's it. The main character is an aimless, insecure person with no strong interests, passions, or aspirations, thinking of little but relationships with blokes, repeatedly getting stuck in relationships with men she doesn't even appear to like, and apparently incapable of doing the simplest things that might make those relationships go better. If that kind of protagonist appeals to you, read the book. If not, I wouldn't recommend it. Personally I thought the main character, Leela, was both maddening and improbable. She's a Cambridge graduate, for goodness' sake! Yet she appears to be happy to drift along for years and years in dead-end jobs, achieving nothing, and with no goals or aspirations. How likely is that, really? I'm afraid I just found her an uninteresting person.